Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Wonderful World

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years everyone! Have fun, be safe and if you drink.... you know the routine!

We are staying in watching TV tonight, our normal routine. We have not gone out on New Years for many years, probably not since Terrace when we called a cab at about 1:00 AM and waited three hours for it. Not my idea of fun.

There is a bit of a party going on in the RV park clubhouse where they have a band and snacks but we decided not to go. Our niece Robin and George are arriving tomorrow afternoon, staying at a nearby "Route 66" style motel for two nights and then they are on their way to their Mazatlan condo for a few months. Maybe we can arrange a "meet-up" for them with our other friends in Mazatlan. We always have fun with Robin and George!

Anyway, I hope all of our readers had a very good year and I know you will all have a good 2016! Talk to you next year!

Croft & Norma

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tornado Vs. RV Park

Garland, Texas

Maybe we will stay put for a while!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Eve Happy Hour

The weather cooperated, the food was great and everyone had a good time! Our friend Shadowmoss and her mom came over as well as Phyllis, our neighbour from behind us and then along came Jim and Sandi from the Blog, Where Are The Dixons Today?

It was chilly but we had the propane fire pit going as well as an electric heater so it was quite comfortable. I had to give up my short pants and find a pair of jeans for the occasion but that was a small sacrifice.

The food was great and the conversation even better. Always nice to meet new friends. The Dixons have been on the road for a long time but are "stuck" in Apache Junction for a while until Jim gets over a medical problem and then they are off again! Great people.

I forgot to take photos until it was too dark. Again. I will have to bring the camera out before people arrive in the future.

The Christmas Dinner Potluck is taking place today at 1:00 PM so we have to start getting things together for that. It should be fun.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas. Norma and I wish everyone the very best! Have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Papa Noel Getting Ready!

While Santa is up in the North Pole readying his sleigh which is pulled by reindeer, way down south in Louisiana, his alter ego, Papa Noel is preparing his Pirogue (pea-row) to be pulled through the swamps by his eight pet alligators, Gaston, Tiboy, Pierre, Alcee, Ninette, Suzette, Celeste and Renee and, if it is misty, Nicollette, lighting the way with her glowing green eyes.

In the tiny villages and communities along the Louisiana Bayous, residents gather to light community bonfires to show Papa Noel where there are children waiting for his visit.

It will be a busy night for both Santa and Papa Noel!

In Mexico however, the children are waiting until January 6 and a visit from The Three Kings who will visit every home and leave a small gift at every child's bedroom door in a shoe that the child has left for them. Tomorrow, on Christmas Eve they will receive gifts from their family. Mexican kids are lucky, they get two Christmas's.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


A tank of propane usually lasts us a month. The only thing we really need it for is the water heater and the fridge when we are traveling, when we are in an RV park the fridge runs on electric. However here in Mesa we have been running the furnace for an hour every morning to warm the place up enough for the electric heater to keep it up until it warms up around noon. That burns through the propane

Yesterday I checked and we are down to a little over a quarter of a tank. Time to top it off. We called a couple of delivery places and were given a couple of reasons why they could not deliver to us. 1) They are not allowed to deliver to our park(?) and they are not taking new customers. 2) We live on the wrong side of some street and they are not allowed to deliver to us (?).

Not finding anyone willing to fill our tank and no one really willing to explain why, we called another large nearby RV park to see what they do. Well, the bottom line seems to be the fire department will not allow the filling of RV tanks in Mesa. The way around it is to rent a tank for an annual fee and they will exchange it for a full one when required. Not for us.

We have to leave some propane for running the fridge when we leave so the next solution was to go and buy another space heater. I bought one identical to the Lasco I bought at Target stores a month ago and it will stay in the front while the other one will stay in the bedroom.

We have blown the 30 amp breaker in the motorhome a couple of times so I am running the second heater right off an extension cord to the 50 amp outlet in the pedestal. Actually I plugged the bread maker, ice maker, extra fridge, computer, front TV and satellite receiver into the same extension cord to the pedestal to take those loads off the motorhome's 30 amp breaker.

On the way home from Target I stopped for gas at Fry's Grocery gas bar. I knew I get a discount on gas depending on how much we have spent in the store but was unsure how much. I scanned my discount card and was told I had earned a $.30 discount per gallon for up to 30 gallons! This brought my price per gallon down to $1.57! $14 to fill the Honda! Good deal!

Life in Mesa is cool, but good.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Earth View!

A gorgeous shot of Earth with the moon in the foreground, captured on Oct. 12, 2015 by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.
Credit: NASA/Goddard/Arizona State University

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Cactus Lesson Learned

Did you know that when you drag Christmas lights through a cactus they pick up thousands of microscopic, invisible needles that then transfer to your hands and clothes? Well, they do and they hurt when you touch anything and try as you will, you cannot see them to pick them out. 

If you knew this, why didn't you tell me?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Another Open Live Writer Test

including a photo. I copied the photo to ‘Desktop’.
Nope. Error 403. Taking the photo out and trying again

Yup, worked with no photo

An Actor In The Family!

Our oldest granddaughter Jayde is studying in the Victoria Academy of Dramatic Arts and is in their first production on Dec 22 - 23, a stage adaptation of Dylan Thomas' Under Milk Wood, a story set in an early 50's Welsh Village. Congratulations Jayde and as they say, "Break a Leg"! Wish we were there to cheer you on!

Doesn’t she look like a future star?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

We Have Live Writer Again!

My friend John over at On The Road Of Retirement has figured out how to get Live Writer working again. You uninstall the old Live Writer and install a just released version but click on John’s Blog and he will tell you all about it.

I am using it now so if you see this post, you know it works! Thanks for searching this out John!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

What To Do?

We are comfortable here in Mesa and there is lots to do, BUT we have never been content to sit in one place too long and the temptation to just sit around and do nothing is great.

We basically have three choices for the rest of the winter: 1) stay put, 2) head down the Baja like we sort of had planned and 3) drive over to the Rio Grande Valley and the Gulf Coast.

The cheapest choice is 1) stay put. This holds some attraction with the falling value of the Canadian dollar. We could arrive back home with more in the bank than we left with.

Reverting back to our original plan for Baja would be fun. The downsides are twofold: 1) El Nino! It will be a wet winter on Baja. Wandering off the main highway could result in bad roads and overall miserable conditions. 2) Price of gas. Mexico has become out of step with the rest of North America in it's gas prices. Combined with the fact this is the longest route (1.900 miles each way) makes this a consideration when driving a rig that gets 7 MPG. With gas costs of about fifty cents a mile, gas costs alone will be an extra $2,000.

We have always enjoyed 3), the RGV, the Gulf Coast and Texas in general. I love the food and the people, at least the ones not packing. It is much closer (1,200 miles) and gas is much cheaper in the US, well under $2 per gallon adding only a little over $1,000 to our current winter budget. The weather in the RGV should be good as it is about the same latitude as the south Baja. Going there, we might be able to coordinate with Chris and Juan and arrange a short road trip with the car down to Monterrey, Mexico to visit them for a few days. This will give us our "Mexico Fix".

Lots to think about in the next few weeks. Whatever we decide, Life Is Good!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Big Windows Update

I bought another month of Virgin Broadband Internet yesterday and as soon as I started it, my main Windows 10 laptop started doing a major update. By the time I noticed it had already used up almost a Gig of data! What to do? I had no idea how big the download was and did not want to shut it off and fail the update if it was almost finished, Darn. I am on an "Unlimited" data plan but it has a soft limit of (I think) 4 GB when it slows me down to a crawl for the rest of the month. When it does this I can do basic stuff as well as voice Skype but not video Skype. Not a great situation with Christmas approaching.

Oh well, if it uses too much of my precious data I can always buy more for $40 US so it is not the end of the world.

I left it going overnight and this morning it was done and waiting for a restart. There was a huge 2 1/2 GB dent in my data allotment but hopefully it is finished. It is now restarted and updating, telling me it is 24% done. I am happy I have two computers!

We were discussing going to the park's Christmas Dinner potluck. I am not big on these crowded affairs but it might be fun. Norma can get her turkey fix and I can get my fill of fancy deserts. I wonder if our friends here in the park are going?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Bloggerfest 2016!

If you are anywhere near Quartzsite on January 23rd, mark this day on your calendar! It will be a fun afternoon meeting some RV Bloggers. It is being hosted by George and Suzi and will be a blast. If we are still around the desert, we will be there.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Where Were We On This Date In......?

2008?  Patzcuaro, Mexico

2009?  Villa Corona, Mexico (near Guadalajara)

2010?  Mission, Texas (on our way to Florida)

2011?  Mazatlan, Mexico

2012?  San Carlos, Mexico

2013?  Rio Grande Valley, Texas

2014?  Desert Hot Springs, California

2015? Right here, Mesa, Arizona

Maybe time to rename Croft's Mexico to Croft's SOB (South Of (the) Border)?